The Chinese history in the country. For about a hundred years (1764-1860), no new Chinese arrived in the Philippines. After centuries of trade in pre-Spanish Philippines, and nearly 200 years of subsequent cooperation with the Spanish authorities and productive interaction with the natives (evidence the whole mestizo Sangley race), the Chinese were banned by Spanish authorities from the colony.
The souring of relations between the Spaniards and the Chinese in the country was an offshoot of the short British-Spanish war that resulted in the British ruling the Philippines (1762-1764). During the hostilities, the Chinese and mestizo Sangley families in the country were said to have sided with the British. The British ruled the country from 1762 until they left in 1764. Although in reality the British had really controlled only Manila and Cavite, but Manila was the seat of power.
Anyway, when the Spaniards retook the country, the Chinese were expelled for their huge mistake. Only Chinese already baptized into the Catholic church and mestizo Sangleys (naturally they were Christians) could not be included in the expulsion. In a census in 1800, only 6 Chinese were still in Cebu, all 6 of whom were of course baptized Christians.It was not until around 1860 when the ban was recalled, and the Cebu port was even opened to international trade.
The Yap family of Parian: Maria and Consolacion Yap. I haven’t come across the identities of the 6, and I have no documentary evidence for making this next claim, but I would tentatively still count my Yap family among them by mere reason of the births of Yap children of Parian at the time of the ban.
It is nothing but unique that our Yap family retained the Chinese surname, when most Parian families did not use Chinese surnames at all. Most of the richest and most influential families did not even have any surname prior to the Claveria decree. The conjectures to be made here is that the Yap patriarch converted and so his descendants were able to use his surname. And that the other Chinese’s offsprings without the surnames must have been born out of wedlock, thus they were illegitimate and could not use the surnames of their Chinese fathers. And illegitimate and out of wedlock mainly because the Chinese fathers did not convert to the Catholic church. And why? Reasons could be conscience (their own traditional beliefs), or they were just so like in-and-out of the country…For what else could have been the reason?
An irreverent thought thus crops up: Could the old (pre-Spanish up to 1750) Parian have been very much a red-light station of willing native (and later on, also mestiza Sangley) women in the old Chinese merchants’ maps and trade routes? I know everyone else of decorous Parian stock will back off this idea, but hey…let’s prick our balloons once in a while, say?…Although guiltily aware as I am that it is the nature of balloons that one prick is really all it can take…
Back to reverent thoughts…
Maria and Consolacion were daughters of Juan Yap and Sofia Florido and were both born (along with brother Eleuterio) in Parian, Cebu City, at the time of the ban. And since the ban had existed for about a hundred years, and a record did say that Juan was a mestizo Sangley and born in Cebu City, thus it is highly probable that the family had been in Parian for a long time. The ancient Yap ancestral house in Parian, especially if continuously in the possession of the family, also tends to confirm that view.
Carcar. The first record for this family cropping up in Carcar was the burial of a Maria (II) Yap, párvula daughter of Consolacion and an unrecognized father. This was 1889. The following year, Consolacion also gave birth in Carcar to another daughter, Elisea (still Yap). Then in 1892, she got married to Juan Ramos Rodriguez, a mestizo Español. The union produced no children.
Consolacion previously had a son Porfirio Yap born 1882 in Cebu City. It is generally acknowledged his father was a Marceliano Castillo from Bohol.
Meanwhile, the first mention of her sister Maria in Carcar was the burial of the latter’s husband Mariano Avendaño San Diego in 1897. A native of Obando, Bulacan, Mariano was for a time in the 1880s a cabeza of the Gremio de mestizos of Cebu (then already including Parian), although records for members of his family in Obando indicated the family was indio. His death was described as repentina (sudden or unexpected). So much so that apparently, Maria was already pregnant with Esperanza who was born some months later, but who unfortunately died after a year—both events in Carcar.
From Consolacion are descended the Yaps (Porfirio and sister Elisea) and from Maria, the Sandiegos of Carcar. Elisea Yap married, first, Felix Alega Campanilla, who died after the couple had their only child, Anastasio Campanilla. Elisea remarried to Sulpicio Genebraldo Baricuatro of San Fernando. Although the family lived in San Fernando, a Baricuatro son, Ladislao, married Remedios Camomot of Carcar and their family resided in Carcar. Among their offsprings, the couple produced a priest, Fr. Dennis Baricuatro. On Fr. Dennis thus converged the well-known Camomot priestly tradition and the slightly lesser-known Florido one that had produced Padre Telesforo Florido, a great-granduncle who was a priest during the Spanish period and Fr. Vicente Florido Jr. more than 20 years before Fr. Dennis.
Juan and Fernando Yap. But the earliest available records of a China-born Yap in Carcar have to be the Marriage in 1891 (and her Burial 1895) of Dionisia Bondaco to Chino cristiano Fernando Salomon Manalili Yap.
Fernando Yap then remarried in Carcar, as Salomon Fernando Manalili Yap, said to be 42 when he married Rufina [Serapia in the marriage records] Bondaco Porcia in 7 February 1907. Nanding Yap’s second wife was related to his first and both families were said to be from Mabolo. Sponsors for the second marriage were the spouses Don Vicente Noel and Doña Maria Benitez.
And then in 1904 there’s the Baptism of Yap Boncuan. In that record, Yap Boncuan was said to be 26 years old from Emuy [sic], China. He was baptized with the name Juan Yap Boncuan Silva with godparents Benito Silva and Ligorio Mercado.
On 18 November 1907, Juan married Benigna Gutierrez of Carcar with sponsors Mateo Noel and Consolacion Yap (my own great-grandmother). In the marriage records, he was said to be the widower of Roberta Genobatin. Genobatin is a San Fernando family.
Even Juan Yap Boncuan Silva’s eldest child in Carcar, Concepcion, was baptized Concepcion Yap Boncuan Silva. Boncuan was known throughout Carcar as Insik Juan and he stayed in the poblacion. However, his descendants did not continue to use Silva or even Boncuan Silva, and were just known as Yaps. The eldest daughter, nicknamed Conching Yap, also married another Chinese, Uy Kim Puat, and the couple was known throughout the town by the affectionate Bisayan way of calling a couple as Conching-Puat.
For anyone of Insik Juan’s descendants interested in going further with the search of their Chinese ancestry, a window is open. In the Carcar church records, his parents in China were named as Yap Yothay and Chiao Ping.
Fernando Yap, meanwhile, was the father of the Yap family of Lagang (now part of Barangay Bolinawan), which include his son, the Bishop and intellectual Manuel Yap.
Bishop Manuel Porcia Yap (1900-1966)
Much more than Juan, Fernando was active in the town’s social and political affairs. But it is generally regarded by both families that Fernando and Juan were brothers although from timelines to be made from their respective records, Fernando was born around 1865 while Juan was born around 1878—a big, but not unbridgeable, gap for brothers.
A Mariano Yap, said to be 75 years old native of China, was buried in Carcar in 1938. He would be in the same generation with Fernando and Juan. There were no other details of his stock or family.
Other Cebu Yaps. Fernando and Juan also seemed to be close to the Yap family of Barili and that branch’s patriarch, (Mamerto) Yap Yntong. On the other hand, the Maria-Consolacion Yaps were said to be close to the Yaps of Bantayan, although their starting person there, (Jose Anrich) Yap Oco, AKA Jose Yap Kimpo, was also born in China and could even have arrived on the same wave with either Juan or Fernando Yap and the Bogo Yap, (Calixto Balbin) Yap Quiamco. The latter Cebu City trader Yap Anton was also said to be close to all these Yap families.
There were other Yaps in Sibonga and Argao, too.
I invite all Yaps in Cebu to reconstruct their individual family histories and maybe we can all have a pretty enviable book on the family.